2017 has been a massive year for all of the team here at LondonSpotter. Firstly, and most importantly, in February 2017 myself and Raj launched what you now know as LondonSpotter.co.uk. Since then, we’ve added two new team members (James and Callum) who both contribute massively to the content we give you. Other initiatives included a new ‘guest review’ scheme. Throughout the year we have broken exclusive news, reviewed many airline products, posted several of our unique monthly reports on routes, deliveries and fares and missed flights (well, some of us did, I’m looking at you – Raj & James). But crucially, our site has gone from strength to strength and its all down to your support – so thank you all.
Looking back on our year, here are our ten most-read moments of 2017.
Our most read moment comes from September, after Raj experienced New York like no other aviation enthusiast has ever done before. After flying on the Norwegian 737MAX, staying with the flight crew and enjoying a helicopter tour over New York City, this in-depth analysis of the trends we see in transatlantic travel today shot to the top of our statistics.
2. BA Customer Service Shambles
In May, James and Raj planned a trip to Edinburgh to review the British Airways Boeing 767. Unfortunately, saying it didn’t go to plan is an understatement. Missing their flight meant Raj wrote about the shambolic experience with British Airways’ customer services. Whether out of humour or concern, this post became one of our most read in 2017.
In early Summer 2017, Norwegian made its 737 transatlantic debut with brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Raj flew the new aircraft to New York in August and produced a thorough review. Being a new flight meant this post attracted a lot of interest and was a key moment in the growth of our blog. The article still reaches the top of many google searches and attracts more views every day!
On the morning of one of the most significant happenings in the aviation world this year, Raj wrote a detailed report of what happened. After flying Britons abroad since 1967, this news came as a shock to the UK and the wider industry in Britain.
In November, we were lucky enough to welcome Callum Johnson to the LondonSpotter team – a former Monarch cabin crew member – who shared his thoughts in this article.
In December, I broke the news of a brand new flight with EasyJet from London Gatwick to Volos. It would become Volos’ first and only scheduled flight to the UK – starting in June. As the local community had lobbied for this flight, my news break was shared on their pages – becoming our 4th most viewed post of the year.
Flying home from what was probably one of the most exciting trips reported on LondonSpotter this year, Raj flew in Norwegian’s Premium Cabin aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This is another post that reached new heights in our statistics, with many of you interested in whether paying for Premium was worth it.
Air France unveiled their new brand this year, aimed at millennials on a budget, named JOON. I wrote about my thoughts on the new scheme, and reported on the launch of two new destinations with the airline; Fortaleza and the Seychelles. Since then, JOON has launched its short haul operations and announced new destinations such as Tehran and Cape Town for 2018.
In October, James made his way to California to attend United’s 747 Farewell event in San Francisco. To get there, he flew on Virgin’s newest aircraft type – the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. After writing a report on the service, many were interested in Virgin’s quirky and trendy experience.
In October, Raj was invited by Japan Airlines to attend the inaugural ceremony and fly onboard the the first 787 service between London and Tokyo. The trip was an amazing experience as he got to spend some time in Tokyo, too. The trip reports were shared widely on social media, thus putting it in our top 10.
In early December, James was lucky enough to be onboard the first ever trip of LOT’s 737 MAX from London to Warsaw. This trip had the added bonus of being filmed for the show Britain’s Busiest Airport. You can see his experience live on TV in March! Yet another MAX trip climbed up the statistics soon after posting.
For me, my personal highlight had to be my airside inspection of Aer Lingus’ ATR-72 aircraft in Dublin. As an aviation enthusiast, to be out on the apron, get up close and personal with the aircraft and spend an hour talking to the Captain was a superb experience – even if it was just a turboprop.
Raj’s highlight was the helicopter tour of New York that was organised for him by Stewart Airport. The 2.5 hour trip included flying over New York JFK, LaGuardia and the city itself. He hopes to be invited back soon (hint, hint).
James’ highlight was his trip to America in October, where he attended United’s Farewell 747 event and got to take a helicopter tour over LAX.
Seeing as Callum only joined the team recently, we’ll be seeing his highlights appear over the coming months with lots of cool stuff planned.
What can you look forward to in 2018?
As we move forward into 2018, our readers can expect more than ever from the LondonSpotter blog.
In January, I’ll be putting your questions to the Jet Airways UK Manager – Lydia Nazareth and finish writing up the last of my articles on my recent Southend trip. On January 13th, Raj will travel to Madrid on British Airways’ 787-9 (hopefully he won’t miss this flight) and Callum will conclude his transatlantic game-changer series as he reviews the hopes and chances of new airlines trying to break their way into our packed market.
In February, I’ll be reviewing the new start up in the Cypriot market – Cobalt Air – whom have ambitious expansion plans and in May, I’ll travel on Air Transat (a major player between Canada and Europe), seeing how their service compares to full-service carriers. James will be trying out Air Baltic’s flagship aircraft, aboard the Bombardier CS300 and its going to be another travel-filled year for Raj, too, as he plans trips to China, Italy, Greece and Germany before going to University. It doesn’t stop there, with so much more being organised day by day for our readers, I have lots more plans to reveal for next year – including the upcoming foray into travel blogging in 2018 as aviation and travel come hand in hand.
We’d like to thank you for all the support we have received this year in starting up this website. It is moments like landing in New York to see a message from Brian Kelly (ThePointsGuy) on Instagram that really made Raj and all of us at londonspotter.co.uk realise what we’d made over the past year.
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